We’ve made several articles in the past regarding things that home sellers should do to sell their house. We gave home staging tips and tricks, advice on how to optimize your next open house and even went oriental with Feng Shui to sell your home.
But we never talked about the things home sellers should NOT do when selling a home.
And you know, that’s not a wordplay or anything like that, because the truth is that it is not enough to get the do’s and just making sure you refrain from doing the opposite of them. Some don’ts are really specific and you might have never noticed how harmful they are when trying to sell your home.
So, let’s correct that right now, by learning the things home sellers should NOT do when selling their homes:
Don't sell on your own
The first one is almost like an introduction to the whole thing: don’t do this on your own. Don’t be stubborn. Don’t try to save it on the commission; you might get less money in the end because of this decision. And you will definitely lose some hair (or grow some grey) because of the stress caused by going the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) route. Find a real estate agent to guide you through the process. Let him/her deal with all the non-serious offers that will happen because they always do. Let the real estate agent price your house as he/she will have the tools and knowledge you don’t have, not to mention the lack of bias that you do have. Real Estate Agents are the bodyguards of your sanity, the conscience to your emotions and the steroids to your financial muscles. Get a real estate agent!
Now, moving on: don’t think we’re crazy, but:
Selling a home requires teamwork
Don’t leave it to the agent. Yes, we are aware we just told you to find a real estate agent. But neither you nor the agent can do this alone; it’s all about building a real estate team to sell your home. Selling a home requires an intertwined teamwork. If you meet the home buyer, for instance, you have to do your part and use the power of emotion. Show a little bit of why that house was so special to you. Plan your storytelling and pinpoint things that could resonate with home buyers: features for kids, entertainment options and things that show that the property has space for them to write their own story.
Don't oversell it
Which brings us to another thing home sellers should not do: don’t oversell it. Not only on the price but on the way you talk about the house. If you hype the place too much, the home buyer will probably think something is wrong and you’re trying to cover it up with enthusiasm. So it’s a fine balance between being genuinely enamored by your soon-to-be former house and overselling it. Also, don't get defensive because of things home buyers say about the house, however rude they are. Your only mission is selling your home, so suck it up and let it go.
Don't be too casual during showings
Another thing you should NOT do when selling your home is being too casual during showings. Flip flops or being barefoot is okay depending on the type of home you live in, but that’s as casual as you should be. Dress as if you’re going out to grab lunch at a restaurant - if that makes any sense. No need for high heels/suit and tie, but don’t let anyone who resides in your house be shirtless or in pajamas. To tell you the truth, the best thing here is to just get out of the house with everyone and actually go out to a restaurant or somewhere else. Let the home buyer have the house all to himself/herself for a while, if you can. Let them envision their future there without your interference.
Following this last advice, here’s another thing not to be done when selling your home: leave any political, religious and sportive affiliation image lying around. Hey, are you here to sell your home or to make your statement? Like we said, the home buyer must imagine their life there and, if you leave too many things that show who you are, they will only see your life, your taste, your vision to that home… not theirs.
Beware of strong smells
If you smoke, you don’t anymore. At least inside the house. Every time you “need” to; go outside and smoke. Even if there’s no one coming, ok? This might seem a bit harsh, but it really isn’t. Cigarette smell is a very common deal breaker. Actually, it’s not even a deal breaker per se, because the home buyer gets so distraught by the smell, that they can’t even consider the house, however perfect the house could’ve been for them. Aside from this measure, you should try bringing professionals to help get rid of the odors with an ozone treatment; especially if you have carpet. Cigarettes’ odors are difficult to get rid off. Sometimes the smell gets stuck in the light’s fixtures and the wall’s insulation and people that are not used to cigarettes pick up on the distinctive smell. So, do your part and start at least not adding to the smell: smoke outside. Same applies to pets. That’s something you should consider when deciding to bring a dog into your home: the pup might even get trained, but a pee here, a pee there is inevitable. If you have carpet, the smell, the stains… it’s a mess. Better to change the carpet anyway, right?
Give up too soon
And the most important thing home sellers should NOT do when selling a home: give up too soon. Have a little faith! Wait a bit more. Sometimes it’s just a matter of expectations; you’ve set them too high. Again, the importance of having a real estate agent when selling your home; talk with him/her about how the real estate market is, how long do similar houses stay on the market from listing to closing, ask for a worst-case scenario and query about a timeline and a deadline; a plan of action to be taken if things are not going well. But don’t go out on a whim and take the house off of the market or change the agent you were working with because it’s been too hard. Good things do take longer and, because you were emotional, you might just miss the perfect home buyer that would make you sell your home for the best price.